We all have seen those before and after weight loss pictures of friends, acquaintance or others on social media or fitness websites at some point of time.

Have you ever wondered there could be more to this story?

Most probably there could be a third image which may explain how the lost weight is gained again. However, this picture is never shared.

Weight maintenance is different than weight loss. The strategies which helped you lose weight may not help you maintain that weight.

Weight maintenance is more about the right mindset and learning few newer skills to maintain the weight.

Here it is very important to mention that if you have practiced crash dieting to lose weight, its highly unlikely that you will be able to maintain that weight. Crash dieting devoid your body of the right nutrition and may cause deficiencies. These deficiencies can drain your body and brain, leaving you craving for junk foods and cause nutritional disorders.

But if you have used the scientific way of eating and made correct lifestyle changes to lose weight, below are the strategies you can use to maintain weight:

  1. Prepare your mind that this is going to be a lifestyle change – It is given that you cannot go back to your old pattern of unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyle in order to maintain weight. However, you can adjust your mindset to not be very restrictive as you were when on weight loss. You can find the right balance by knowing when to say ‘yes’ and when to say ‘no’. Maintain a diary to list foods you said ‘yes’ to and the effect it had on you. Take care that you do not overindulge and lose your focus.
  2. Connect with yourself and find a deeper purpose for your weight loss – It is often seen that as soon as we lose weight and get at the desired weight, we become restless. This leads us to going back to the pre-weight loss habits. This happens when we have not connected to our deeper self and understood what was the reason for our weight loss.

    Identify your deep reason for wanting to maintain your weight or even just live a healthy lifestyle and remind yourself of it frequently. It could be that with your new healthier self, you are able to play actively with your children or you are looking younger and feeling more energetic like never before. Finding a deeper purpose will help you maintain that weight.

  3. Try the 70:30 or 80:20 approach to maintain weight – These 70 or 80 percentages is for healthy habits like balanced eating, exercise, sleeping well, hydrating yourself, working on your stress levels. And still, you have the leverage of 20 or 30 percent to yourself where you may not be able to follow your plan well due to various reasons. This is good news because you can still be able to maintain weight by only following your lifestyle changes up to 70 or 80%. By practicing these three strategies, you will be able to maintain your weight and also live a healthy life. Consistency is the key and plays an important role in weight maintenance.

Good Nutrition

Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator

Nidhi Makharia Agarwal is a qualified nutritionist and dietitian, as well as a certified Diabetes educator, with 12+ years of experience in the field of nutrition. She has worked in various nutraceutical companies and also as a nutrition writer and practicing nutritionist. Nidhi started her training as an intern with the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital and the Wadia Children Hospital in Mumbai. She has worked with a leading Indian nutraceutical company for 8 years. Currently, Nidhi has her own venture; The Aahar Clinic for healthy living, which she founded in 2018. She has also lent her expertise as a nutrition counsellor to a diabetes project co-initiated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Indian Dietetic Association. Additionally, she works with food and nutrition start-ups as a nutrition consultant. Nidhi holds a Master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics. She is also a certified diabetes educator. Nidhi is based in Mumbai.